Rep. Paul Thissen, who has made health care overhaul and education spending a top priority, dropped out of the race for DFL endorsement for governor, leaving House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak to fight for it.

"This has been an incredible experience," Thissen told the crowd of delegates in Duluth. He said the campaign showed that delegates saw "the same vibrant Minnesota future that I see."

He praised all the candidates, but stopped short of endorsing either Rybak or Kelliher, who represents Minneapolis in the Legislature.

But his decision to withdraw will mean his supporters will be weighing those candidates as they deliberate for the sixth ballot in the endorsement contest. After the fifth ballot, Kelliher held 630.5 votes and Rybak had 434, with 807 needed to win.

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